Will Flying Taxis Ever Take Off? Does it have the potential to ‘Elevate’ the Future of Transportation?
Top automakers are looking to the aviation industry for insight into the future of urban mobility as they integrate autonomous capabilities into cutting-edge automobiles. The rapid evolution of the transportation sector is mirrored by the emergence of ideas like air taxis.
Traffic management is just one of many problems plaguing the transportation sector as the number of cars on the road continues to rise, especially in densely populated areas. Consequently, air taxis are developing as an entirely new class of automobiles that is set to transform the future of mobility, alongside the present groundbreaking inventions in completely autonomous vehicles. Automakers’ entry into the UAM ‘environment’ is stimulating new ideas for flying cab designs.
Although the concept of a “flying car” or “e-air taxi” sounds like something out of science fiction, the reality is that such vehicles are very close to being available to the public. The future of air taxis is closer than anyone could have thought, and this essay delves into the realities of continuing research and innovation efforts in UAM and how they might bring about this future.
The Revolutionary Concept of Air Taxi: Reality or Fiction?
There will soon be a vehicle that combines the advantages of a plane and an automobile. You can laugh now, but your time will come.Henry Ford, creator of the Ford Motor Company, predicted the development of flying automobiles in 1940, and now, 80 years later, the world is poised to see his vision become a reality. The future of UAM and air taxis is bright as new technologies merge to make them more feasible and marketable.
Automakers are looking at the possibility of VTOL technology in the development of air taxis in response to the rising need for faster, cleaner, safer, and more reasonably priced transportation options. Additionally, the development of electric VTOL (eVTOL) is allowing automakers to make three-dimensional electric mobility a reality with the introduction of cutting-edge battery technology. It is anticipated that in the future years, air taxis will become a reality because to the merging of the automotive and electric aviation industries.
Technology breakthroughs in the creation of eVTOL aircraft represent the most recent improvements in the designs of air taxi, which are based on the electrification of the automobile and aviation. The widespread implementation of eVTOL technology in next-generation air taxi designs will be heavily influenced by current trends in the battery sector and battery management systems.
What is Happening in the Industry?
There is a race to be the first to market in the worldwide market for air taxis, and a growing number of automakers, key players in the shared mobility industry, and aviation companies are all jumping in. Companies like Uber, Porsche, and Boeing are putting a lot of money into developing safer and more cost-effective versions of autonomous air taxis. Although there aren’t many other players in the air taxi sector just yet, competition is expected to heat up as more companies enter the fray.
Airbus, a pioneer in the aerospace industry, is working on a variety of air taxi designs, including a one-seater called Vahana and a four-seater dubbed CityAirbus. The eVTOL-powered CityAirbus completed its maiden voyage in May of this year. The company hopes to begin offering rides in its air taxi vehicles by 2020 for Vahana and by 2023 for City Airbus.
Lilium, based in Munich, is another new entrant to the air taxi market. In May 2019, the business showcased a five-seater prototype of its on-demand air taxi service. The company’s all-eVTOl gadget, Lilium Jet, has a range of 300 kilometers and can go great distances. In May of this year, the business claimed that by 2025, they plan to commercially operate an emission-free air taxi that can take off and land in the same spot.
In 2019, another German startup, Volocopter, debuted its own version of an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) air taxi, dubbed the VoloCity. It’s an 18-rotor electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft that can carry two people and travel at speeds up to 70 miles per hour. The business has stated that its next objective is to create an appropriate ecology and infrastructure, including an effective air traffic control system.
Although there is a growing number of players in the global air taxi business, the concept of air taxi is still being questioned due to a number of serious problems.
Hurdles in Making Air Taxis a Reality
Although hope for the commercialization of air taxis is at an all-time high at the moment, many hurdles must be cleared before this vision can become a reality.The European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA) and other international organizations’ norms and standards provide a significant obstacle. Many governments are optimistic about the new air taxi modules, but manufacturers will have to adhere to strict laws regarding their deployment and safety.
Concerns have been raised concerning the long-term viability of air taxi service due to the manual nature of air traffic management, which is a result of the presence of human controllers. While existing infrastructure is enough to support trials, it lacks the efficiency necessary to sustain innovative firms on a wide scale. Other significant technological obstacles for the air taxi sector include noise reduction and battery energy density.
Nonetheless, the rapid development of the business suggests that air taxis will have a stronger future in the coming decade. The automobile sector is merging with electronics and telecommunications and IT to usher in the future of totally electric and driverless vehicles, both on and off the road. The sky is the limit for advancements in the air taxi industry, as the results of continuous research and development technologies will eventually demonstrate.